Health : 10 zinc-rich foods to include in your diet
In this epidemic period linked to the spread of the coronavirus, many people wonder about the foods to consume to boost their immunity and better protect themselves from covid-19. Among the elements often cited, there is also zinc. While remembering that research on the coronavirus is still in progress and that all this information is yet to be confirmed by researchers, we offer below more information on foods rich in zinc and their health benefits.
What foods are rich in zinc?
Zinc is essential for our health. Eating foods rich in zinc is good, if only to recover faster after training.
You may not have known it, but the human body is unable to synthesize zinc. We must therefore ensure that this trace element enters the body in sufficient quantity thanks to foods rich in zinc.
If you need to consume more zinc, you can also consider the list of these foods. Zinc deficiency is normally noted by a doctor. For information, these symptoms often accompany a zinc deficiency in the body:
- you feel constantly tired
- your eyesight has deteriorated
- your skin has dried out
- your hair is brittle
- you need a lot of time to recover from intensive training.
The importance of zinc for the body
Zinc is essential because it plays a role in over a hundred enzymatic reactions in the body. So you will probably want to eat foods high in zinc.
This mineral is needed in small amounts every day to maintain your health and perform important functions. The benefits of zinc come from its presence in all tissues of the body. It is necessary for healthy cell division. In addition, acts as an antioxidant, fights free radical damage and slows down the aging process.
The good news is that sufficient amounts of zinc-rich foods can prevent inadequate levels of this element in the body. Thus, one can fully enjoy the benefits of this essential mineral.
Did you know ? Zinc is one of the important processes that take place in the body. It contributes to the functioning of more than 300 enzymes. It is also included in many processes of cellular metabolism. So :
- it helps in protein synthesis;
- it supports the immune system;
- in addition, it promotes the restoration of connective tissue.
The daily norm for zinc for men is 11 mg. For women (except during pregnancy and breastfeeding), it is 8 mg.
10 foods rich in zinc
Below are 10 zinc-rich foods to include in your menu.
All meat is a source of zinc, but zinc can be found in sufficient quantities in meats of beef, lamb and pork. For example, 100 grams of such ground minced meat contains 4.8 mg of zinc, which accounts for 44% of the daily intake.
There are other beneficial substances in red meat: iron, B vitamins and creatine. However, be aware that eating a lot of red meat, especially fried meat, is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. However, as long as you eat red meat in moderation and as part of a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and fiber, you have nothing to worry about.
Seafood is a healthy, low-calorie product and the main source of zinc.
In addition, oysters contain the most zinc. In a serving of six oysters, on average, about 32 mg of zinc, or 291% of the daily value.
And then, shrimp and mussels are also rich in zinc. 100 grams of mussels contain 14% of the daily value.
Legumes (such as chickpeas, lentils, and beans) also contain a significant amount of this element. About 100% of the daily norm is thus present in 100 grams of cooked lentils.
However, it should be noted that legumes also contain phytates. These substances interfere with the absorption of zinc and other minerals. In other words, the zinc in legumes is not absorbed as well as, for example, animal products.
Despite this, legume plants are an important source of zinc, especially for people on a vegan or vegetarian diet. Besides, heating or soaking leguminous plants increases the bioavailability of this mineral. This means that, thanks to these methods, the element becomes easier to absorb by the body.
Seeds of all kinds help increase your daily zinc intake. For example, three tablespoons (30 grams) of pumpkin or sesame seeds contain 31% and 43% of the recommended daily allowance for men and women.
Sunflower seeds are a good source of fiber, healthy fats and vitamins. So it’s a good idea to include them in your diet at least a few times a week.
Eating nuts (especially cedar, peanuts, almonds and cashews) is a great way to dramatically increase your daily zinc intake.
For example, a handful of almonds (28 grams) contains 15% of the daily amount. There are studies that nuts reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes. So many good reasons to take advantage of it!
Dairy products provide all kinds of nutrients to the body, including zinc. Milk and cheese are the most popular sources of zinc. These products contain a large amount of bioavailable minerals.
For example, in 100 grams of cheddar cheese, about 28% of your daily intake and in a cup of whole milk, about 9% of your daily zinc intake.
In addition, dairy products are good for bone health thanks to protein, calcium and vitamin D.
Eggs contain moderate amounts of zinc. In a large chicken egg, there is about 5% of the daily norm for this microelement. And eggs are a source of B vitamins, selenium and choline.
Some whole foods, such as wheat, rice and oats, contain zinc. However, like legumes, there are phytates in whole grains that affect the absorption of zinc. Therefore, it is not recommended to rely on cereals as the only source of zinc.
Cereals are also a source of other important nutrients. Among these, fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, manganese and selenium.
In general, vegetables and fruits are not as rich in zinc to compensate for their lack in the body. However, some of them still contain sufficient zinc. They help maintain their normal level of this element. You can also take advantage of this if you do not eat meat or to supplement your menu. The potato contains about 1 mg of zinc, which represents 9% of the daily value. This element is also found in cabbage, at an amount of about 3% of the daily value per 100 grams.
Dark chocolate also contains zinc. In a 70-85% chocolate bar, about 3.3 mg of zinc, or 30% of the daily amount. But beware, it should also be remembered that eating 100 grams of chocolate is not a good idea! In addition to the high zinc content, it is also high in calories. Such an amount will also bring you an additional 600 calories. Therefore, we recommend that you limit yourself to 10-20 grams of dark chocolate per day, to be supplemented with other foods rich in zinc.